Article by- Piyush Agrawal (Founder & CEO, Latviv Inc)
SaaS or Software as a Service, is one of the emerging Technology services that has been around for close to a decade now, and steadily growing. Now, accelerated by the enhanced need for digital adoption in business, thanks to the pandemic, SaaS has evolved many folds to encompass several new age service and solutions. What started as a trend, evolved fast into a significant tech business, with huge potential, fuelling the country’s start-up eco-system and supporting SME and MSME’s. The potential of SaaS can be understood from a recent report by Bain & Company, which projects the estimated revenue by Indian SaaS companies, to reach USD 18-20 billion, by 2022. Further, as per a report by NASSCOM, the Indian SaaS ecosystem is estimated to create USD 1 trillion in value and nearly half-a-million jobs by 2030, driven by accelerated digital transformation and automation in business.
While the number clearly project a promising future for SaaS, Start-up’s, SME’s and MSME’s are yet to completely understand the benefits and leverage the potential of this service delivery model, to make the most of modern tech innovations, at a fraction of the cost. Generally,tech adoption and automation are viewed as high investments and are thus highly debated within smaller, bootstrapped start-up’s. With the pandemic, however, as the world moved towards digitisation, new innovations in SaaS came through, catering to the needs of these smaller businesses. Today, SaaS based solutions for businesses cover a wide range, from operations, customer relations, Human resource and cashless payments, to data analytics, cyber security, cloud computing and customer engagement. The 4 key SaaS solutions that most start-ups and SME/ MSME’s need to understand and embrace, include:
SaaS for efficient Operations: A series of product engineering and innovative software solution companies are working towards creating affordable and secure software solutions for SME/MSE’s that can help drive efficient operations, especially in the new work-from-home set up. With dedicated solutions that can help entreprenuers manage, govern, and secure SaaS products within a business, SaaSOps solutions are widely gaining popularity for the ease of automation and security that they provide, along with the enhanced control and visibility that businesses can now have, over their SaaS portfolios. Being able to customise, and adopt an agile framework to their business needs, SaaSOps is also becoming a preferred solution for entreprenuers looking to adopt a leaner and more efficient business model, especially in the post COVID environment.
SaaS for Data Analytics: Data is the new oil when it comes to excelling in the digital first environment. With a Business 4.0 approach to scalability, profitability, and productivity, SaaS solutions that offer data capture, management and analytics are widely gaining popularity. SaaS Analytics enables businesses, especially for start-ups, SME/MSME segment, who can benefit greatly from consumer feedback. These data driven insights can come handy in new product or service development, to gain insights market potential of new innovations and to keep track of competition, etc., all crucial factors for a start-ups and SME/MSME business. Additionally, they can leverage this at a fraction of a cost by leveraging the expertise of a SaaS analytics partner.
SaaS for customer engagement and success: Customer engagement and delight is one of the most significant aspect of business success in the post COVID era and entreprenuers are slowly waking up to the immense potential of measuring customer success. From driving consistent customer loyalty and gaining references for new business, effective customer engagement is also driving business expansion through effective product innovation and helping brands build stronger market presence. By leveraging SaaS solutions for measuring customer successes, start-ups, SME’s and MSME’s can go offer much more than what their CRM software offers, and help drive true and effective customer satisfaction and meaningful customer engagement.
SaaS for a cashless economy: One of the biggest push for cashless economy has been brought about by the pandemic when most businesses were pushed to embrace digital, cashless payments. Even as digital transformation becomes a norm across sectors, complete digitisation is incomplete without an effective fintech partner. SaaS companies offering customised and secure fintech solutions are helping start-ups and SME/MSME businesses to set up and manage secure digital payment platforms and help grow their business, amid an environment of COVID appropriate protocols.
Way Forward: As one of the largest hub of start-up’s, India is a hotbed of technology driven start-up’s providing smart business solutions. These solutions, provided as SaaS platforms, are aiding India Inc to not only transform and survive the global pandemic but to also excel. The future of a tech empowered Indian economy is set to be shaped at the grass root level, by the SaaS solution providers and technology start-ups, which will be the key differentiators to put the Indian economy on the Global map of top 5 nations, in the coming years.